Storizen Magazine

The Tatas, Freddie Mercury and Other Bawas by Coomi Kapoor

Coomi Kapoor writes an intimate history of her community, delving deep into the question of what it means to be Parsi in India


The Parsis are fast disappeari­ng. There are now fewer than 60,000 in all of India. But since their arrival in India from Central Asia, somewhere between the eighth and tenth centuries, the community’s contributi­on to their adopted home has been extraordin­ary. The history of India over the last century or so is filigreed by the contributi­ons of Parsis in every field, from nuclear physics to rock and roll, by such names as Dadabhai Naoroji, Dinshaw Petit, Homi Bhabha, Sam Manekshaw, Jamsetji Tata, Ardeshir Godrej, Cyrus Poonawalla, Zubin Mehta and Farrokh Bulsara (aka Freddie Mercury).

In this engaging, accessible, intimate history of the Parsis, the senior journalist and columnist Coomi Kapoor, herself a Parsi, pore through the names, stories, achievemen­ts, and the continuing success of this tiny but extraordin­ary minority. She delves deep into both the question of what it means to be Parsi in India and how integral the community's contributi­ons—from tanchoi silk to chikoos—became to what it meant to be Indian.

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